Ah…Swindon. With a population blended, like a cheap whisky, from the genes of navvies, railway workers and the dross London didn’t want, you’d expect a bit of chav to creep in here and there – and you won’t be disappointed. Chavs have always been here, although we tend to call them p****s (nothing to do with gypsies, it’s a local thing).
Now there’s one simple rule in Swindon; p***y begins with a “P”, and so do the places where they live. Park North, Park South, Pinehurst and Penhill. What an ingenious piece of subersive town planning. Unfortunately they’re not content to stay in their ghettos full-time so the town centre is full of the critters in their white baseball caps with their 14-year old partners and their horrible little offspring. At night the bottom end of town (around the Litten Tree) is like a war zone and a red light district rolled into one, with gangs of chavs fighting and barely-dressed underage girls looking for their next shag. You can thank the council for allowing 20 bars in 50 yards of street frontage.
Mobile chavs head for Greenbridge, where there is a drive-thru McD’s and a kebab van. Under-car neon, blue washer jets and drum ‘n’ bass are the order of the day as the chavs live out their “Fast and the Furious” fantasies in a 1.1 Saxo. Suburban chav pubs include the truly horrible “merlin” and “messenger” (lower case obligatory) which have both carried 3 different names in the last 5 years and have been rough as a buzzard’s crutch in each of these successive incarnations.
Oddly, you will see a lot of twentysomething chavs driving quite decent cars, because the giant Honda factory sucks up a lot of semi-literate Swindonians who might otherwise be unemployable. They can lease a new Honda Civic for about £99 a month and – joy of joys – they’re not allowed to modify it into some Max Power nightmare. They still wear a white frickin’ baseball cap every time they drive it though.